Food For Thought

Stress Free Snack Recipe Perfect for Test Days

Annie Peters and Katie Peters

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Whether you are making this to reduce stress or just to have a quick bite, this is an easy and healthy alternative for a midday snack!!


2 ½ Cup of old fashioned rolled oats

½ Cup of roughly chopped macadamia nuts

¼ Cup of honey

¼ Cup unsalted butter

⅓ Cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon salt

Added mix-ins*



To begin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Take a 9-inch square baking dish and line it with parchment paper- make sure that the paper lays over the dish- this will help when you take them out after chilling. For now set it aside.

Next, spread the oats and nuts across a lined baking sheet. Even though oats are essential to granola bars, they, in addition, help the brain produce serotonin, a substance regulated by antidepressants. Nuts also help lower stress levels by increasing your productivity and ability to focus which is super beneficial for any day of the week. Let it bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted.

While waiting, grab a sauce pan and add the honey, butter, and brown sugar. Honey is one of the most effective ways to lower stress because it contains therapeutic nutrients that produce any over all calming sensation. Melt this over medium heat and stir it occasionally until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Once it’s melted, remove it from the heat and mix in the vanilla and salt.

Then transfer the toasted oats and nuts into a large bowl. Pour the melted honey, butter, and brown sugar mixture on top of the oats and nuts. Combine with a rubber spatula until none of the oats are dry and add in the extra mix-ins as needed*.

As seen on WIN-TV, almonds, cherries, and chocolate chips were added to the mixture. Berries and almonds will, as well, lower anxiety because they contain vitamins and minerals that help improve your body’s response to stress. And even though many assume that chocolate is bad for you, not all kinds are. Dark chocolate is actually really effective for lowering stress levels because it contains antioxidants that help decrease stress hormones.

However, if you are going to put chocolate chips in the mixture, make sure you to let the granola base cool so they don’t melt when combined with the other ingredients.

Grab your prepared baking dish and place your granola mixture in the pan. Using a spatula, spread and press the mixture on to the pan and flatten it as much as possible. Chill the granola for at least 2 hours and cut it into rectangles once done.

Enjoy 🙂

*Other variations include:

Dark Chocolate Cherry

½ cup dried cherries                                           

¼ dark chocolate chips             

½ cup almonds                         



Blueberry Almond

½ cup dried blueberries   

¼ cup shredded coconut

½ cup Almonds




½ cup chopped fruit (pineapple, mango, or mandarin oranges)

¼ cup coconut

½ cup cashews


Cranberry White Chocolate

¼ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup white chocolate chips

½ cup almonds



Peanut Butter M&M

¼ cup creamy peanut butter (add this when you add the vanilla and salt)

½ cup M&Ms

¼ cup mini chocolate chips



Peanut Butter Pretzel

¼ cup creamy peanut butter (add this when you add the vanilla and salt)

⅓ cup broken pretzel pieces

¼ cup peanut butter chips

¼ cup mini chocolate chips



Spiced Nut

½ cup almonds

½ cup pecans

½ cup cashews

½ teaspoon cinnamon (add this when you add the vanilla and salt)



Sunflower Pecan

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup candy coated sunflower seeds

¼ cup shredded coconut

½ cup almonds


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